The one thing that stood out most from the fashion of the 2015 American Music Awards were the see-through or mesh dresses with strategically placed lace, studded or glitery appliques or bodices. A handful of celebs wore some variation of the now familiar risque design, where at least the nipples and nether regions are covered, but it seems that the 2015 ceremony also ushered in (what should be) the end of it for awhile!
It’s sexy, it’s bold. Even flippant. But it’s also a wee bit tired and obvious now. Hardly an original creation, every once and awhile the duo of sheer and lace, or sheer and something else, return in the form of statement moments in high fashion, from Bob Mackie to Jean Paul Gaultier. But since 2013, it seems that lace and sheer have completely overruled fashion decisions for stars of reality TV and some of the world’s biggest celebrities attending A-list events.
For me, I saw the beginning of this potentially subversive trend to the wardrobe spotlight–and this may sound absurd, but I’m just being honest–when Erica Mena wore such a dress, by iCandy Couture, at a Love & Hip-Hop special taping in New York. It was memorable because one clearly couldn’t wear underwear with it, but I also didn’t think much of it. I soon found that iCandy Couture, designed by Elizabeth Flores, mainly used social media, like Instagram, for its promotion. Around that time, the independent brand became moderately popular as Draya Michele, best known for appearing on Basketball Wives L.A., also wore the same dress as Mena, just in a different color-way.
iCandy Couture was also somewhat stereotyed as an “Instagram boutique”, an online shopping destination that is easy to make fun of because the apparel is often made of weak materials and, for whatever reason, presents itself with a woman of the night mentality. (Best believe, the opposite sex can be men of the night too). But platforms like Instagram also obtain the power to predict or determine fashion and beauty trends and that’s exactly what has gone down with the combo of lace and sheer for a big night out dress or ensemble.
Actual couture houses like Michael Costello, Zuhair Murad, and Versace have brought down their runway versions of a scantily clad outfit. Huge celebrities like Kim Kardashian West have said yes to them. Givenchy scored twice with their Fall 2010 gown as Ciara wore the sheer and cream, crystallized embellished number to the 2013 MTV VMAs and Beyonce had worn the black and purple version the year before at the 2012 Met Ball Gala.
For the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in Los Angeles in 2013, Jennifer Lawrence wore a Dior gown with a bodysuit bodice covered the necessities and topped with a sheer, houndstooth embossed canopy-like accent, snatched with a big belt.
Rihanna accepted her CFDA Fashion Icon Award in a custom-made Adam Selman lavender shimmer dress, inspired by Josephine Baker. Her upper regions were however not to be missed.
In 2015, the once living on the edge fashion choice reached the zenith of its irreverent appeal. It’s become standard of the red carpet and might as well be the new Little Black Dress. The Little See Through Dress.
Beyonce did it again in Givenchy for this year’s Met Ball.
As did Kimmy K West in Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli, also at this year’s Met Ball Gala.
At this year’s MTV VMAs, Nicki Minaj wore a golden sequined dress by Labourjoisie, exposing of course cleavage and the belly button.
At this year’s American Music Awards, Ciara essentially wore the same dress she did at the 2013 VMAs (however dope and was by Reem Acra).
Gwen Stefani, while performing “Used to Love You” on stage, wore the sheer and lace remixed via fishnet.
Paula Abdul changed from her red carpet black mini-jumpsuit into her own sheer and lace to present an award during the telecast.
This year’s AMAs hostess Jennifer Lopez wore four different versions throughout the night, courtesy of labels like Balmain and DSquared2. Earlier this year, she already had tongues wagging when she attended the Billboard Music Awards in a Charbel Zoe Couture beaut that took mermaid-esque swirls to another level. (Will J.Lo ever stop slaying for the kids!)
It’s not to say that these celebs and Lopez don’t look amazing in these type of dresses, because they do. (And Lopez did wear other kind of outfits too during the AMAs). But wow, there are a lot of sheer and lace dresses out there! Is it time that the stars take a break from them? Because you know that whatever they popularize trickles down to the mass market for us regular folk when we go to the dance floor or a restaurant (even if Instagram this time brought sheer and lace back in to the game).
Sheer and lace is of course supossed to be sexy and even different and outre at times. It should be unexpected. And that right there is maybe why it has overstayed its welcome for the celebrity circuit. It appears on every other celebrity body. It is the new Birkin bag. It looks good and and is even coveted, but we’ve seen it before. It’s not timeless just yet, like black winged eyeliner. And the request is not tone down the sexy (because Lopez looked damn good, no denying whatsoveh!) but to present another kind of sexy for these kind of regal, big nights. Like, look at how cute and still sexy Lopez looks in this gradient pink and red down below? The costume department definitely made an effort to showcase the hostess in an array of outfits. But shall sheer and lace carry on? Or let it hibernate this upcoming winter season?